MA Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Part-time (3 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (per credit): To be confirmed

About this course

LJMU's Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice MA develops practitioner researchers and offers the equivalent components of a PgDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

    PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for the September 2021 intake is 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday 27th January 2021.
  • Qualify as a Counselling and Psychotherapy Practitioner on this flexible Masters programme with a two year clinical Diploma-level component
  • Enjoy a contemporary curriculum delivered by a research centre of excellence
  • Study a core model of person-centred and experiential practice, integrating other specific approaches
  • Carry out novel research in your chosen field
  • Benefit from excellent educational and professional training facilities, exceptionally supportive staff and a thriving student community

This three year, level 7 programme enables you to qualify as a Counselling and Psychotherapy Practitioner at Diploma level in the first two years and then progress to the final research year to complete the MA and become an active Research Practitioner, contributing to the field.

Aimed at recent graduates and those already in employment, the course builds on previous LJMU programmes which have been extremely highly regarded by employers.

Counselling is often a ‘second career’, so students come from a wide range of backgrounds in the voluntary, statutory and commercial sectors. This creates 


a rich learning environment, enhancing the experience for everyone.

The programme is underpinned by a sound theoretical base in the Person-Centred Approach including Pre-Therapy and integrates other approaches such Emotion Focused Therapy. Students will study the theory of other models not practiced on the course including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Brief Solution Focused Therapy (BSFT) and EMDR

Taught by working BACP registered Therapists and Supervisors, you will learn to work with issues such as loss, bereavement, anxiety, trauma, stress, mental health issues, depression and sexual abuse.

Integral to the course are considerations of power and prejudice, including those pertaining to class, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

Group therapy - Counselling and Psychotherapy Pratice

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.

Please note: In Year 2, you will also have to attend and self-fund a minimum of 12 hours of personal therapy and approved external clinical supervision. The cost of this is additional to course fees.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The course will create very employable graduates with many going on to work in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors. As a graduate you may move to higher management levels or developmental initiatives within your existing role, demonstrating an increased level of autonomy and responsibility. 

Psychotherapists and Counsellors are much sought after in various areas of business and many course graduates will go on to work as qualified Psychotherapists, Practitioner Researchers, IAPT Wellbeing Practitioners, Support Workers and Mental Health Workers.

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The student experience

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core Modules

Client Centred Theory
20 credits

This module aims to demonstrate a critical knowledge of contemporary person-centred theory, locating its development in an historical context. It focuses on the work of Carl Rogers in the history and development of counselling and psychotherapy. You will examine contemporary debates and developments in person-centred theory so that you can articulate your own therapeutic style within a contemporary or historical formulation. 

Counselling Competency
20 credits

This module aims to develop your skills in person-centered counselling practice. You will demonstrate this via a portfolio of practice evidence and academic analysis.

Personal Development: Self and Society
10 credits

This module will help you to critically examine own conditions of worth and organismic valuing process and consider how this affects relationships with others and the potential impact upon the counselling relationship. It focuses on self-awareness and conditions of worth as well as how to be in relationship with others and understand how this links to client work. 

Ethical Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy
10 credits

This module aims to critically evaluate current counselling and psychotherapy practice as an ethical professional enterprise. It prepares you for placement practice by emphasising the professional and ethical issues that may be encountered and must be considered.

Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy
20 credits

This module aims to enable you to develop as professionally competent, reflective practitioners having acquired an in-depth critical understanding of counselling and psychotherapy theory and its application to a wide range of client issues and psychological distress.

Developing Expertise
20 credits

This module develops expertise in counselling practice.

Personal Development: Self in Relationship
10 credits

This module aims to critically examine the intrapersonal and interpersonal impact on yourself and others and how this informs the counselling relationship.

Ethical Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy
10 credits

This module aims to synthesize ethical research methodology with contemporary person-centered practice and develop your knowledge of research methodology, which can be applied to developing practice and individual practitioner research. It enables you to draw on your own supervised practice with clients and use tapes to reflect on and evaluate your own progress.

Independent Research & Dissertation
60 credits

This module aims to prepare you to conduct an ethical, reliable, valid, independent research enquiry that is consistent with your professional experience and area of interest within counselling and psychotherapy. It:

  • helps you to synthesise prior theoretical and conceptual learning and consolidate research knowledge, professional practice issues and experience in conducting an independent research project
  • enables you to contribute to the field of counselling and psychotherapy as a practitioner researcher through a robust and critical research enquiry that informs and influences psychotherapy practice


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Year one is dedicated to theory, skills and personal development with one day of timetabled university study per week and one day of independent study. 

Year two features 100 hours of LJMU approved practice placement which can be split between two settings. 

In year three independent study takes over as you embark on ethical, reliable and valid independent research for your 60 credit dissertation. Four days of timetabled sessions introduce this phase of the course and include research ethics and methodology. During your studies you will also have to attend and self-fund a minimum of 12 hours of personal therapy and approved external clinical supervision in year 2.

Teaching methods

You will be taught via a series of lectures, seminars, films, discussion sessions, experiential learning and e-learning activities. Lecturers will offer valuable insights into the latest theories and practice techniques and ample one-to-one sessions will ensure the development of key communication skills.

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Applied learning

There is a strong focus on practice placements in year two. These may involve voluntary counselling agencies; counselling services in colleges, hospitals or workplaces or those attached to a GP surgery.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

A variety of assessment methods are used, although emphasis is placed on face-to-face contact due to the importance of communication skills in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Each module in the first two years is assessed through coursework. You are encouraged to learn with and from each other as part of a community of learners. Peer assessment is a key feature of the course. The final MA year involves four days of study followed by a research project to produce a dissertation, supported by tutorials and other forums.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Lesley Dougan

Lesley Dougan

Programme Leader

Lesley has 25 years’ experience working in mental health, learning disabilities and neuro-developmental disorders, and has taught on the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice for the past 18 months. She is a practising BACP Accredited Psychotherapist with specialist interests in Bereavement and Loss, Autism Spectrum Conditions, Trauma and Disfigurement.  She is currently undertaking a professional doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapy/ Psychological Trauma, researching the role of Paediatric Bereavement Care Support in Adaptive Meaning Making.

It is a privilege to be programme lead on the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice.  Supporting our counselling and psychotherapy students as they progress from novice trainees to confident and  competent professionals, is the most rewarding aspect of my role.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Situated in the City Campus, the School of Nursing and Allied Health works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes. In addition to specialist facilities, you will find high quality meeting and seminar rooms and lecture theatres, the Avril Robarts Library which is open 24/7 during semesters plus a large café, IT facilities and social spaces.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • an honours degree in health and social care, nursing, psychology or a related discipline
  • a counselling skills level 2 award or basic counselling skills gained through relevant work or experience

Additional information:

  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • IELTS 6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson 58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
  • International students entering on a Student visa cannot study part-time

If you have any specific queries, please contact

    PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for the September 2021 intake is 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday 27th January 2021.
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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Please note application deadline of Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 6pm (GMT).  Selection is by individual interview where we will assess your professional interest in the subject, your ability to study autonomously, manage your own time and cope with the intellectual and academic rigour of the course.

You will undertake individual and group assessment. You will need to submit a pre-prepared piece of written work at your interview.

Final admission is subject to a satisfactory DBS check.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course